Our world turned upside down

Ocaol
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:12 pm

Our world turned upside down

Postby Ocaol » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:15 pm

I will apologize now for the long post (sorry)
On 16th jan police arrived at our door with a warrent i ( mother of 4 children) was alone with the children, partner of 16 yrs and father to all 4 was at work, the warrent was to search for printed images of children and devices, data storage etc... All electronics taken except partners phone(with him at work)... Children are 12,11,6 and 2...no arrests made no cautions nothing

Ss are now involved all professionals involved with our children expressed zero concerns at a meeting with ss

Section 47 actioned... Ss met my 3 older children in their schools 6 days after warrent execeuted... 10 days after warrent executed they visited our home and spoke to me and partner together and separately

I can assure anyone reading this that me and my partner are innocent in all of this but we are very very scared our babies are our entire lives and are very happy and well loved children... Well i say happy in actual fact out oldest 2 are terrified that dad is going to have to leave or they will be seperated etc...worries that ss have brought into their usually care free lives...the end of sec 47 meeting is happening tomorrow and i have been told by sw that a child protection conference is no doubt going to be happening

Our sw is useless, we asked her if we can bring someone to the conference she said she dosent know... We asked if their was any organisations to support us or an advocacy service we could use, she told us she has never been aske dthis before and will have to check!!

We are terrified and feel like we are living a real life nightmare...we have sought legal advice today and the solicitor is arrangeing for someone to attend the conference with us free of charge.... Sw told me that even if the devices come back "clean" they will stay involved as the original police info (our ip address) still stands with them... We are outraged and feel as though this whole thing is unprofessional....any advice/comments or experiences welcome

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2048
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Our world turned upside down

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:24 pm

Dear Ocaol,

Welcome to the Parent’s Discussion Board.

I am sorry to hear that your family is subject to a section 47(child protection) investigation by children services.

In every aspect of the assessment, you say that professionals are coming back to say they have no concerns about the wellbeing of your children. You cooperated and gave consent to your children being interviewed and nothing has been said that is worrying.

However, the police reported that a device at your IP address may have accessed child sexual abuse content. To ascertain whether this has happened, the phones, tablets and computers from your home will need to be forensically examined. We understand from other people who have posted on the board that this may take many months.

Until the police have examined the devices, children services will not know whether your children could be at risk of sexual abuse. In case they are at risk (even if it turns out they are not) they need to consider what steps are needed to protect children from potential abuse.
The Lucy Faithfull Foundation Just stop it now! helpline and Parents Protect website are very helpful.
If it transpires that a member of your family had accessed these images, then they can advise on risk assessments and support available to all the family to reduce the risks.

Child Protection Conference.

Here is information about child protection conferences which links off to a film and advice sheet.

If the initial child protection conference takes place, this is to share information about your family (you will be at the conference as well) and consider whether the professionals "suspect" that your children may have suffered significant harm or be at risk of harm and that risk is on-going.
The conference will take about one to two hours, professionals who are invited (school, health, police and children services) will share information about you children. You will have input and should have seen the social worker report before hand so that you can address any errors in it.
If the conference suspects they are at risk, child protection plans will be made for each child who they think is at risk. (The conference does not have the power to decide any other plan apart from the alternative child in need plan (which they need your consent) or no plan).This decision will be reviewed within 3 months. There may be further reviews at within 6 months after that.

If child protection plans are made they should set out how the children will be protected and what support is needed to reduce any possible risk to the children. For example, there will be monitoring of the family by professionals and your children will be seen and the older children spoken to regularly by the social worker.

Is there any suggestion by children’s services who might be the risky person? If there is, there may be discussion about that person moving out of the family home to safe guard your children.
If so, it would be helpful to speak to your solicitor about the different options. Sometimes, a family member can be assessed to supervise that person’s contact with the children within the family home. So they can be there at most of the time but may have to leave at night time, for example.
Part of the social work assessment is your support network. Are your family aware of what is happening? What support can they provide? Could they be assessed to help supervise, for example? They would need to understand that a parent could have viewed child sexual abuse images. If they thought it could never happen, then they may not be suitable.

Can your children remove children in these circumstances?

Children can only be removed from you if you agreed to this or if they obtained a court order. (In emergency situations, the police can remove children for up to 72 hours under police protection and children services can obtain ex parte orders).

If children services are talking about court proceedings, it is vitally important that you consult your solicitor. You will be entitled to a legally aided solicitor to advise you. The court would make an urgent court order, only if they thought your children were in imminent danger or at serious risk of harm.
If the information from the police is suggesting that, then to avoid the trauma to children of being removed, it is usual for the potentially dangerous person to move out of the home or for the protective parent to move with the children elsewhere.

Have a look at our advice sheet about care proceedings.

I have outlined the different possible outcomes. However, for more in depth advice speak to your solicitor or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366. Or post again if you want further advice.
Best wishes,
Suzie


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